James Guy hails strength and depth in British swimming

·3-min read
James Guy hails strength and depth in British swimming

James Guy believes the strength in depth in British swimming was clear for all to see as he led a new-look men’s 4x200m freestyle relay to silver at the Commonwealth Games.

The 26-year-old from Bury claimed his third medal at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre in Birmingham alongside 17-year-old Jacob Whittle, Joe Litchfield and Tom Dean as Team England were roared to second place behind Australia, who clinched gold in a new Games record.

Guy, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support, had already won silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay and a bronze in the 200m butterfly, while he will have another medal chance after booking his place in the 100m butterfly final.

But after a race that saw a Duncan Scott-inspired Scotland take bronze ahead of Wales in fourth, Guy said the future of swimming in Great Britain looks incredibly bright.

“It was kind of a replica of the race in the World Championships few weeks ago,” said Guy, who claimed bronze with the GB four behind Australia in Budapest.

“We knew it was going to be a hard ask to take the Aussies down and looking forward it’s the last time we will compete together as England for a long time but next time Duncan (Scott) will be back in that relay which makes it more fair.

“It was a great race tonight, we had 12 lads from Great Britain competing and it just shows the kind of depth is getting there with Wales, Scotland and obviously us as well.

“I’m putting more pressure on myself now I’m getting older and the young guys are starting to come through but it’s always great to get on the podium with the Australian guys.

“The crowd was great. It’s just making sure you don’t let the crowd take you out too hard. You have to let them do the work for you as you can get really excited really quickly.”

Chorley swimmer Anna Hopkin was also in action on Monday night, finishing third in her semi-final of the women’s 100m freestyle behind Aussie duo Mollie O’Callaghan and Shayna Jack.

“I’m feeling a lot better after that than this morning,” she said. “This week’s starting to take its toll, I was definitely pretty tired this morning.

“I’m really proud of how I’ve come back and put in a pretty decent swim. I’ve got tomorrow morning to recover and hopefully come back faster tomorrow night.

“You just have to control your energy. With the late finishes, it is quite challenging and when you’re quite hyped up after racing, it’s hard to settle down and go to sleep.

“Even when you’re feeling deflated or low on energy, that crowd picks you up and gives you a bit extra. It’s special. That has given me a lot more confidence.

“It’s not my best but we’re coming to the end of a hard year and a long season so it’s about getting as much out of me as I can. I think I can go faster.

“I did my best in an Olympic final, which is what we peak for. Post-Olympic year is very different, the training’s different, so it would be unrealistic to expect to be back there.

"But if I can get as close as possible, that’s the goal.”

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